The Anniversary Aspect: Trauma Series

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We have been dealing with the series “Living With and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis” for a while now. Today we will dissect “The Anniversary Aspect”. Just in case you missed the last post in this series, “The Unpredictability Aspect”, you can read up on that particular issue here.

Anniversary dates can bring on several reactions: laughing, smiling, crying, dread, and so on. These reactions can be separate. Or, they can coexist. The one thing that is true about anniversaries is that no matter how much you try to prepare for them, when the time comes, there is no preparation in the world for what the reality will look like.

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January 13, 2019 made six years that I had to put my ex-husband out. It was two months before his planned exit. Although that was six years ago, when the beginning of this past January rolled around, it felt like it had just happened yesterday. One surprising fact is that the 13th of January fell on a Sunday once again. Just like it was six years ago.

For the first time in almost six years, I dealt with triggers in regards to this event for almost an entire month. I knew that I wasn’t back there, but when the triggers came, it was as if I was standing around in the townhome 6 years ago, trying to decide what to do about the situation that I found myself in at the time: a husband who was staging a fake suicide four days in a row.

If I hadn’t responded in the manner in which I did, by going downstairs and checking the garage, me and my sleeping children could have ended up dead. There are some things that happen in life in which there are no words for, and this is one of them.

How did things get to this point? How could an individual go this far in order to regain control and pull you back in so they could emotionally and psychologically abuse you again?

So many unanswered questions.

And these things will more than likely never been answered on this side of heaven. Hurting people hurt people. Until we begin to take responsibility for our actions, we will continue to bleed out on everyone else in the form of drama, trauma, and layers of brokenness.

One thing that we can do when we are taken back on these anniversary dates is to ground ourselves in the present. We ground ourselves by reminding ourselves of where we are, what we are doing, and how it relates to now. We also create new memories to replace the old ones. There are times when following these steps don’t seem to work, and in those instances, you hold on to Jesus, and give yourself grace as you would give a friend.

Is there an anniversary date that you dread coming up every year?

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Episode 15: The Sin of Complaining

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Episode 15: The Sin of Complaining
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Background on the Sin of Complaining:

When was the last time that you complained? Was it this morning? Did you complain because you had to get up out of the bed, and you didn’t get enough sleep? Did you complain because you had to cook breakfast, and no one washed the dishes the night before?

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What about going to work? Did you complain about the fact that you barely had enough gas in the car to get to work? To make matters worse, someone cut you off on the way to the office, and then they mouthed a few words that you wish you hadn’t seen. We all complain at one time or another. However, complaining is sin, and it affects everyone else around us when we start doing it.

Take a listen to this week’s podcast to find out what complaining does, and how we can do less of it.

Outline of The Sin of Complaining Podcast

  • Six Truths That Come From the Sin of Complaining
  • Bible Verses to Meditate On:

Numbers 11:1-11 New International Version (NIV)

Fire From the Lord

11 Now the people complained about their hardships in the hearing of the Lord, and when he heard them his anger was aroused. Then fire from the Lord burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp. When the people cried out to Moses, he prayed to the Lord and the fire died down. So that place was called Taberah,[a]because fire from the Lord had burned among them.

Quail From the Lord

The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, “If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!”

The manna was like coriander seed and looked like resin. The people went around gathering it, and then ground it in a hand mill or crushed it in a mortar. They cooked it in a pot or made it into loaves. And it tasted like something made with olive oil. When the dew settled on the camp at night, the manna also came down.

10 Moses heard the people of every family wailing at the entrance to their tents. The Lord became exceedingly angry, and Moses was troubled.11 He asked the Lord, “Why have you brought this trouble on your servant? What have I done to displease you that you put the burden of all these people on me?

Click here for the last podcast: Episode 14: Broken Pieces Introduction.

Episode 14: Broken Pieces Introduction

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Episode 14: Broken Pieces Introduction
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Background on Broken Pieces Introduction

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The book Broken Pieces was released a few days ago. The poem that I wrote, which is also included in the book, can be found here. In this episode, we are dissecting the reason for the name, the chapters, and the overarching theme of the book. The introduction of the book will be read to help give listeners insight into wh
Broken Pieces is really about. Does the issues resonate with them? And if so, how to seek ways for God to glue these pieces back together.

Broken Pieces Introduction Podcast Outline

Introduction of the Book Chapters

  • Introduction
  • Broken Identity
  • Broken Thinking
  • Broken Approval
  • Broken Dreams
  • Broken Faith
  • Broken Judgment
  • Broken Shame
  • Broken Comparison
  • Broken Conflict
  • Broken Relationships
  • Broken Forgiveness
  • Broken Healing

Reading of the Introduction

Bible Verse to Focus On:

John 10:10

King James Bible
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Broken Pieces

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The last poem that I wrote was entitled “Faith Without Works”. You can find that poem here. Today’s poem, Broken Pieces, deals with the emotional process of deciding to enter the door of healing: the closed door represents survival mode, and open the opened door represents the door of thriving.

Broken Pieces

Broken Pieces, Broken Pieces

Yes, it’s what you’ve settled for.

There’s no thriving, just surviving.

Door of Healing gives you more.

Door of Healing, Door of Healing.

If I open, what is there?

There is Jesus.

In the fire.

And your pain.

So You’re Aware.

You’ll press in.

You will hurt.

Oh, but then you’ll go so far.

Just keep pressing.

It’s the lesson.

Set the bar.

Now it’s your blessing.

Episode 13: Grace Aspect of Living With and Healing from Trauma

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Episode 13: Grace Aspect of Living With and Healing from Trauma
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Our last podcast, Lost in the Woods of Trauma, dealt with the process of going from having the trauma identity to reign, to have our identity in Christ to take over. This week’s episode: Grace Aspect of Living With and Healing from Trauma, shares about the embarrassing moments that we all have when we live with and heal from trauma on a daily basis, even when we have come a long way with our healing. It also handles how to see these moments as God sees them. Click to listen!

Podcast Outline

Traumatic Childhood Events

My Traumatic Childhood Event

My Eye Doctor Visit

Grace Aspect: My Resolve

Grace Aspect: Bible Verses for Meditation

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who was tempted in every way that we are, yet was without sin.  Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy, and find grace to help us in our time of need.


Hebrews 4: 15-16

Digestion Aspect: Living With and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis

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In our Living With and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis Series, I dissect issues and symptoms of PTSD/trauma. This is in hopes of letting people know that they are not alone, as well as giving people the freedom to comment, and talk about how PTSD/trauma has affected their lives in these areas. The last post in the Living With and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis Series was one dealing with the Holiday Aspect of trauma. You can find that post here. Today’s post will focus on the Digestion Aspect.

One surprising revelation for me was realizing that PTSD/trauma actually affects your digestion. I stumbled upon this realization in June of 2014, a couple of months after getting divorced. There are three things that I noticed when it comes to trauma and digestion:

Trauma and grief will come out in the form of regurgitation.

I am not trying to sound gross here, so please bear with me. Due to complications with my ex-husband’s health, as well as the fact that I had stuffed my emotions for so long, my grief was delayed. Grieving my divorce, and all the events surrounding it, were delayed. Alleviating some of the symptoms that I was experiencing seemed downright frightening because of stuffing for so long.

This caused me to be in a vicious cycle of stuffing and feeling like my face and chest was going to explode, with very little relief. Trauma is in the tissues, and so I discovered, along with reading information on my own, that movement, grief, and massaging helped to release it. The problem came into play when I finally felt like I could release the trauma. However, the underlying feeling was that if I started crying, there would be no bottoming out. Subconsciously, I knew it was going to be a bad release.

Instead of my system waiting any longer, it released the trauma and grief in the form of regurgitation. Initially, I thought that it was just that maybe something upset my stomach. However, after four rounds of this, and feeling grief in between each round, I knew that wasn’t the case at all. It didn’t take long to put two and two together.

I felt very vulnerable, and my son kept asking me, “What did you eat?” I told him that it had nothing to do with the food. It was physiological.

Trauma will cause your system to get confused about hunger and fullness.

Another weird discovery that I made is that every now and then, stored trauma and unreleased grief will make your system confused as far as satiety is concerned. There are times when I have felt like I could keep eating forever. Then, there are other times that I feel hungry, and then attempt to eat, but will all of a sudden feel full.

Lastly, there are times when I can literally feel my emotions trapped in my midsection, causing my body to try to figure out whether it is satisfied, or it needs more food. It is the weirdest thing. It doesn’t happen as much anymore. However, when it happens, it can be very frustrating.

When doing research, one of the explanations that I found is that because of PTSD/trauma, at times, the blood that should flow into the stomach, moves away from it, going to other areas like the arms.

Trauma will cause you to become hypersensitive to certain foods, causing severe panic attacks when consumed in normal portions.

The last issue that I would like to discuss is how trauma causes hypersensitivity to foods. These foods vary from person to person. For me, it was sugar. I first discovered this when I decided to eat a glazed donut in 2015.

Within five minutes, a severe panic attack came on, I felt like I was going to hit the roof. The only thing that would help my system to calm down was drinking an excess amount of water, and then deep breathing, and a lot of prayer. Taking multivitamins has helped , but it is still not the same.

My system has improved a little. However, it can’t handle what it once was able to. Sometimes, I get frustrated with this fact. It is what it is. I have learned to accept the fact that a few moments of pleasure for an hour or more of panic just isn’t worth it.

How has PTSD/trauma affected your digestion? What are some of the ways that you use to cope with it?

God bless,

Katina

Why I Write

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The last poem that I wrote was entitled, “Gratitude, Gratitude”, and it can be found here. Today’s poem takes you on a winding adventure of why I have chosen to write. Please feel free to send in your comments below on why it is that you have chosen the path of writing.

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Why I Write

I write from the heart.

No, it’s not just a part.

It’s the pain and the struggles.

It’s the drama and the tuggles.

The laughter and the cries.

The births and the byes.

The ins and the outs.

The moments filled with doubt.

The pushing past surviving.

The greeting of the thriving.

The heartaches and the pain.

The neverending rain.

The beauty and the ashes.

The life that’s filled with dashes.

Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.


Proverbs 29:18 King James Version (KJV)

Episode 12: Lost in the Woods of Trauma

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Episode 12: Lost in the Woods of Trauma
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Have you ever lost your kid? That’s the scariest thing in the world? What about you? Have you ever been lost yourself? I mean really lost!!! Think about how you felt. Today, on Healing Our Brokenness, we are going to discuss being lost in the woods. Lost in the woods is a term that I give for “Identity Issues of Trauma.” I described this issue in the poem that I wrote that is called, “Stolen Identity”. You can find that poem here.

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  • Lost in the Woods of Trauma Outline
  • Discussion of Being Lost
  • What Led to My Discovery of Being Lost in the Woods
  • How I Grounded Myself
  • What did David Do When he was Lost in the Woods?
  • Bible Verses to Meditate On

Psalm 143 King James Version (KJV)

143 Hear my prayer, O Lord, give ear to my supplications: in thy faithfulness answer me, and in thy righteousness.

And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified.

For the enemy hath persecuted my soul; he hath smitten my life down to the ground; he hath made me to dwell in darkness, as those that have been long dead.

Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is desolate.

I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands.

I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land. Selah.

Hear me speedily, O Lord: my spirit faileth: hide not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit.

Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.

Deliver me, O Lord, from mine enemies: I flee unto thee to hide me.

10 Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.

11 Quicken me, O Lord, for thy name’s sake: for thy righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble.

12 And of thy mercy cut off mine enemies, and destroy all them that afflict my soul: for I am thy servant.

Stolen Identity

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One of the worst things to happen is to be a victim of stolen identity. Sometimes it can take a couple of years to recover all the information that has been lost. When you are Living With and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis, you also experience a sense of stolen identity. This poem has been written with the hopes that you can relate and find comfort in Our Creator, who gives the final stamp of approval.

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Stolen Identity

Identity.

Broken.

From trauma’s pieces.

Unspoken.

Like a little child.

Lost in the woods.

Look at all the roles.

And then all the should’s.

Where am I?

Who am I?

How do I get back?

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Follow the cross.

Where it gives no slack.

You are in the court building.

Where the Judge sits on high.

Where his throne reaches ceiling.

And then out through the sky.

“You have been adopted.

You know who you are.

Memories were so blocked.

Had you traveling way too far.

Ground yourself in me.

Where you’ll find your name.

You’ve already been set free.

You will never be the same.”

Bible Verses to Meditate On:

 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

1 Peter 2:9

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

John 1: 12

he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—

Ephesians 1:5

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

Jeremiah 1:5

The Flashback/Images/Nightmare Aspect: Living with and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis

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Background on the Flashback/Images/Nightmare Aspect

A week ago, I discussed The “Inability to Focus” Aspect: Living With and Healing From Trauma on a Daily Basis.  That discussion can be found here.  Today, I will be discussing The Flashback/Images/Nightmare Aspect: Living with and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis.

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Dreaming

Nightmare Aspect

This discussion has three parts to it.  When I compare myself to others whom I have talked to, they present themselves differently, and so I deemed it necessary to explain them separately.  As far as the nightmare aspect is concerned, my experience has been that there has been very few trauma nightmares.  When the nightmares do occur, they are usually because I have fallen asleep with the television on, and a horror movie happened to come on, and that movie turned the dream into a trauma nightmare.

Also, at our last residence, because of the vaulted ceilings, you could hear everything that was going on no matter what room you were in.  It gave the impression that we were in closer proximity than we really were.  During this time, the sleep deprived trauma symptom was at its peak.  I would either wake up every 45 minutes to an hour, or fall asleep at 3 am, If my son was playing a war game on his Xbox, then that would also set me off into a trauma nightmare.

Because of the way that my brain is wired, whenever I go to sleep, I have to be careful of what is playing in the background because it will become part of my dream.  The game would cause me to dream of something violent, wake up with trauma-induced fear, my body stiff as a board, clenched teeth, and unfortunately my mouth filled with blood from biting my gums.

It  would normally take a long time to go back to sleep after this.  I would end up telling my son to turn the game volume down.  The very few times that this happened would usually involve me praying desperately for God to take away the trauma fear, and to give me the sweet sleep that he promised us in Proverbs 3.

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Waking Up

 

Trauma Dreams

Part 1

What I do have a lot of is what I call trauma dreams.  What I noticed is that when I am unable to process the trauma, i.e. grieve it, then the trauma will show up in my dreams where I am able to process it.  Usually what happens is that I will wake up with heavy grief, remembering the dream, and then grieving some more.

Part 2

The weird thing about what I call trauma dreams is that there isn’t always one theme that the dream is about.  Sometimes there are five different things that I need to process subconsciously, and the dream will mix all these different things together.

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Praying for Sweet Sleep

 

Flashbacks

Trauma flashbacks usually occur through triggers.  These triggers can be weather related, smells, sights, sounds,  tastes, and even touch.  Basically, triggers can involve any of the five senses.  The triggers aspect is discussed in more detail here.

About a year ago, I made some bean and cheese quesadillas that were pretty good.  At least, I thought they were.  However, my kids were only able to take a few bites.  The quesadillas triggered memories of an earlier time.

When I was working at a toxic company for six months, I overheard the boss mention one word.  That word sent me into a tailspin of flashbacks in regards to an extremely traumatic situation that happened with my ex-husband.  This situation of bullying was going on while my grandmother was in the hospital dying.  Basically, you never know what will trigger flashbacks.

As the spring and winter approaches, these also bring the flashbacks on.  This is because my eyes are very sensitive to transitions in the brightness and darkness outside.  I go into this blackout aspect more deeply here.

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Transitions with Light

Images

I am not sure of how many people deal with this aspect.  Where most people have violent nightmares, my trauma comes forth as violent images in front of my face.  What I have noticed is that these images will also emerge if my brain is having problems processing what it is seeing.

It can be as small as a simple fight or argument.  Sometimes I am able to tolerate it.  However, if the movie shows a lot of it, then I will see images.  A few months ago, I was watching a Netflix movie that reminded me of my ethnicity, and growing up in the black church and community.

The content started becoming questionable, and I knew the Holy Spirit was trying to signal to me that it probably wasn’t a good idea to continue.  My confirmation was when a violent fight broke out between a man and a woman, and then the trauma images came forth.  The next thing that I knew, I said, “Okay.  We’re done.  Thank you Lord for confirmation.”

If there was anything in this discussion that resonated with you, feel free to drop me a line below.

Have a blessed rest of your day!

 

Katina